Making Data Count

NHS England, National



The problem

Finance teams (at National/System and local level) need to find better ways to identify the drivers of financial improvement and deterioration because otherwise there is a risk that management focus will be mis-directed and resource unnecessarily wasted.

The challenge

  • What’s the best way to present financial data to easily identify variation over time (both good and bad) which informs appropriate management action?
  • How can we best understand the drivers of costs so that improvement efforts can be most effectively targeted?
  • What is the best approach to enable an understanding of the challenges and implications for quality, workforce and performance when making financial decisions?
  • The NHS is continually striving to improve efficiency. Could there be a different and innovative way to approach this challenge?

The outputs

Learning points about when SPC works for finance and when it doesn’t. Evidence of SPC being used from board to ward to understand the drivers of cost within an organisation. Examples of the effective triangulation of different data sets to understand more about the whole picture. A network of like minded individuals who are learning together. A diagnostic data pack which provides a comprehensive picture of the financial position for a provider Trust.

The outcomes

  • Identification of patterns previously unidentified in data sets
  • A better understanding of the drivers of cost
  • Reduction in silo working – finance becoming more mainstream
  • Feedback from customers of financial information indicating a much better understanding of the financial position. Many individuals have been inspired and excited to try and a new approach which has then provided new knowledge
  • Helped our national team to develop and come together by doing something differently – finance people taking interest in SPC

The Innovation

Read the full innovation on making data count

All the documents and resources relating to this innovation can be found in the downloads section at the bottom of the page.

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Innovation Q&A

Innovation Showcase, 8th July 2022

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What the peer-reviewers said

“This sounds a fantastic development and appears to be being implemented into more trusts with sound results – well done!”

“Improved understanding of trusts data’ which leads to Improvement in decision making”

“Allows for a wider discussion about standardised financial reporting by organisations, allowing for sharing of best practice”

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Here are all of the documents and resources related to this innovation

Innovation M1

Making Data Count (SPC)